Carter Uncut brings New York City’s latest development news under the critical eye of resident architecture critic Carter B. Horsley. Ahead, Carter brings us his eighth installment of “Skyline Wars,” a series that examines the explosive and unprecedented supertall phenomenon that is transforming the city’s silhouette. In this post Carter looks at the “stray” supertalls rising in low slung neighborhoods.
Most of the city’s recent supertall developments have occurred in traditional high-rise commercial districts such as the Financial District, the Plaza District, downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City. Some are also sprouting in new districts such as the Hudson Yards in far West Midtown.
There are, however, some isolated “stray” supertalls that are rising up in relatively virgin tall territories, such as next to the Manhattan Bridge on the Lower East Side and Sutton Place.
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In 2000, shortly after ending his first presidential run, Donald Trump was asked for what he would like to be remembered. He responded, “I’d like to own the Empire State Building,” adding that it would make him “New York’s Native Son.” As Crain’s recalls, he came awfully close to renaming the iconic tower the “Trump Empire State Building Tower Apartments.” For nearly a decade, Trump had a 50 percent, no-cost stake in the building, but he lost it when he attempted a hostile takeover of the structure in the late 90s.
Read about the entire saga
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Today, the only thing you’ll be spending money on when you travel to the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building is the $50+ Observation Deck ticket. But back in the ’30s, it was a much more glamorous experience, complete with the Empire State Observatory Fountain and Tea Room.
The New York Public Library recently digitized 18,000 of its 40,000 restaurant menus, which range from 1851 to 2008, including this one from the Empire State Building in 1933. As you’ll see, sandwiches (ham, peanut butter, and tomato and lettuce, to name a few) were a mere 25 cents, the same price as their six types of ice cream sundaes and ten flavored sodas. In terms of actual food, your only choice other than a sandwich would’ve been a pretty blah-sounding salad, some pastries, or a selection of “candy and cigarettes.”
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Despite controversy, several delays, and a $30 million crowdfunding attempt, the New York Wheel is projecting major first-year revenue. According to The Real Deal, developers of the 630-foot Staten Island ferris wheel expect to bring in a staggering $127.85 million in 2017, a figure that will make it more lucrative than the Empire State Building’s observation deck, which raked in $111.5 million last year. Of the total revenue, $96 million is projected to come from admission fees (which come in at $35 a person, as compared to the Empire State Building’s $32); $10 million from sponsorships; and $8.7 million from gift shop sales. And if you’re impressed by these numbers, annual revenue will likely grow to $166.52 million by 2021!
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The Empire State Building has a long and torrid history and is arguably the most iconic piece of New York Architecture to date, with both native New Yorkers and tourists alike looking to the towering mega-structure as a symbol of man’s ingenuity and achievement. That being said, who wouldn’t want to adorn their walls with this cool graphic poster of the Empire State Building from designer Taylor Doolittle? In addition to an illustration of the cherished building, this poster will fill your days with useful trivia, as it also includes a slew of facts about the building’s history and legacy.
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The Empire State Building is already one of the most unique places to work in the city, but the LinkedIn offices on the 28th floor have made the iconic building even cooler. Interior Architects recently remodeled the 33,005-square-foot space, which houses the social network’s sales team. The result is a floor that is “fun and vibrant,” but maintains the professionalism of a “club level of a hotel.” Just a warning, though, everything about this office–from a wall of rotary phones that conceals a speakeasy to a photo display that celebrates employees’ pets–is going to make you pretty bummed about your boring cubicle.
Take a tour of the office here
Courtesy of Metsä Wood
Back in March, an Austrian architecture firm announced plans to build the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper in Vienna, noting that by using this material instead of concrete, they’d save 3,086 tons of CO2 emissions. The news launched a lot of musings from the architecture community on the benefits of wood construction versus steel or concrete. A new story, originally published on ArchDaily by Patrick Kunkel, takes a look at whether or not the Empire State Building could have been built with timber.
Michael Green has teamed up with Finnish forestry company Metsä Wood and Equilibrium Consulting to redesign the Empire State Building with wood as the main material. The project is part of Metsä Wood’s “Plan B” program, which explores what it would be like for iconic buildings to be made of timber. Their work shows that not only can wood be used to produce enormous structures in a dense urban context, but also that timber towers can fit into an urban setting and even mimic recognizable buildings despite differences in material.
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Sure, pretty much everyone living in New York City is familiar with Grand Central Station, Central Park and some of our other more notable landmarks, but these well-known locations still hold secrets that even born-and-bred New Yorkers may be surprised to learn. We’ve gathered together just a few to get you started, but in a city this size, with a history this long, there are many more that await your discovery. How many of these secrets were you aware of?
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- Take a photo tour of the Croton Water Plant, which is expected to treat about 290 million gallons of water a day. [Gothamist]
- Roy Lichtenstein meets cartography… check out these graphic world maps that were inspired by the iconic pop artist. [CityLab]
- “You agree to go to Smorgasburg, then spend the entire afternoon complaining about the crowds.” Here’s the Brooklyn guide to your zodiac sign. [Brokelyn]
- Where do those 70,000 tulips and 30,000 begonias along Park Avenue come from? [Crain’s]
- New arts space hopes to preserve Chinatown’s cultural fabric. [Bedford + Bowery]
- Want to know what color the Empire State Building is going to be tonight and why? There’s a Twitter account for that. [Untapped]
Images: NYC map via Katie Kowalsky; Park Avenue tulips via 6sqft
If you’re looking for an awesome, high-floor loft in a prime location with brag-worthy views, this two-bedroom apartment in the Capitol Building might be just what the doctor ordered. The 1,686-square-foot renovated loft features beamed 10.6-foot ceilings, 7.5-inch wide plank oak flooring, and enviable views of the Empire State Building, all for $2.495 million.
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